Day of reflection to ‘remember those we have lost and challenges we’ve faced’

West Sussex County Council’s leader thanked the public for the part everyone has played in the pandemic response on a national day of reflection.

During lockdowns people have displayed rainbows in their windows
During lockdowns people have displayed rainbows in their windows

Today (Tuesday March 23) marks a year since the country entered its first lockdown.

A minute’s silence is being held at noon as part of a national day of reflection organised by charity Marie Curie.

Paul Marshall, leader of WSCC, said: “On this day one year ago, our country entered a period of national restrictions to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. “The pandemic changed our lives overnight and continues to impact on us all.

“Today we reflect on all we have experienced in the last year, especially the tragic loss of many of our loved ones to Covid-19. We will carry them forever in our hearts.

“Amid the sadness we have seen so many instances of compassion and kindness. Across the country and our county, we’ve worked together, while we have had to stay apart, to protect the vulnerable and prevent the spread of the virus.

“This Spring as the days get brighter, we can start to look forward to a better Summer ahead. A key part of this hope is the NHS vaccine programme which is well underway. I am very grateful to all workers and volunteers across our county who are delivering vaccines as swiftly as possible.

“More than 370,000 West Sussex residents received a vaccine by mid-March, with more people being given a jab every day. The vaccine rollout, along with Covid-19 prevention measures such as ‘hands, face and space’, will help us be able to carefully regain a new form of normality as we keep West Sussex safe.

“I’ll be observing the minute silence at noon today and the 8pm moment of reflection this evening. I will remember those we have lost and the challenges we’ve faced.

“And finally, and very importantly, I would like to say a huge thank you to all for the part you have played in the pandemic response.

“Thank you to frontline workers keeping services running and essential shops open. Thank you to everyone working in education, health services and social care. Thank you all at home, at work and volunteering. Every individual action has helped to carry us through.”